Article first published as Twitter Gets Analytical on Technorati.
If you use Twitter for business then you are painfully aware of one fatal flaw…tracking your Twitter traffic. Want to know your Twitter ROI? Love to dig into analytics? Want to know the details of your traffic sources? Well, Twitter has just made this challenge a little less challenging. They are now offering their own web analytics,
The problem with tracking traffic from Twitter has been:
Problem: Incorrect traffic source referrals
Have you looked at your analytics and seen traffic from unknown source, mobile device, or some third party app that you don’t recognize? Until very recently Twitter was not reporting their traffic as referral traffic. This prevented you from know exactly how much traffic was truly coming from Twitter or a Twitter manager.
Obvious (but not total) Solution: Link Shortners
These are great. A link shortener does seem like a solution to the tracking problem. However, it is not a total solution. Most link shorteners do offer analytics. If you only use the shortened link on Twitter, then any clicks on that link will be from Twitter. But that only tracks the links you post and retweeted by your followers. But if someone else is tweeting links to your site, you are still not able to account for that referral traffic.
Twitter offers its own link shortener, T.co. However this has not offered any benefit beyond providing a shorter link. That was changed with a recent update that would automatically wrap any link longer than 20 characters in the t.co shortener. This big benefit to this was that it allows referral traffic to show up in your analytics as a t.co. Though it does not solve all the referral traffic issues, it does offer a significant improvement.
The new analytics being released will finally offer an answer to the question, how much traffic do I get from Twitter. The new tool promises to not only show you how much traffic you are getting from Twitter but effectiveness of your website Twitter integration and how your site is being shared across Twitter.
Right now the tools is only being offered to a select few, but roll outs to the general public will be starting in the next week. They are also going to release a website API for developers.
Will the new analytics, in conjunction with T.co, solve the traffic tracking problem? Time will tell.